Great Britain

Let’s get real…it’s fab Covid vaccine heroes who are stars, not reality celebrities

WE can probably name all the Strictly and I’m A Celebrity stars.

But I doubt many of us know the names of the amazing scientists who have discovered and developed Covid vaccines.

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That’s a poor show.

Globally, scientists have been working exhausting shifts trying to come up with a way to fight the virus and stop people dying, as well as giving us the chance to have our lives back.

It has been a race against the clock and the speed with which they have come up with the vaccine is truly astounding.

So much so that experts have been stunned by such efficiency, with top US scientist Dr Antony Fauci apologising yesterday for implying our regulators had rushed through the vaccine approval.

We could see thousands set for the jab as early as Monday, which is amazingly good news — and if we were allowed to socialise properly, we should all be dancing in the streets.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has already been sent over to us from Belgium on refrigerated HGVs.

Scientists have been working exhausting shifts trying to give us the chance to have our lives back.

Lorraine Kelly

It is the first vaccine to be approved but the toughest one to administer, as it has to be kept at minus 70 degrees and everyone needs two doses 21 days apart.

This is a logistical migraine, never mind a headache, so thank the Lord the Army will be in charge of making sure it gets to the people who need it most.

Those at the top of the list will be our frontline workers, including the brave souls toiling in the NHS and in care homes.

But I hope our public transport workers, teachers and security workers will also be at the front of the queue.

The elderly and most fragile will also be given the jab ahead of those of us who are reasonably fit and healthy.

I’m just in awe of the bright, committed scientists and researchers who have been working as a team to save the world and don’t expect any recognition or reward.

We are at least able to thank the brilliant couple behind BioNTech who have devoted their lives to finding cures for infectious diseases.

Dedicated scientists Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, are children of Turkish immigrants who made their home in Germany.

They are incredibly modest and so committed to their work they only took half a day off to get married, going back to the lab after their ceremony.

These are the people who we should be looking up to, not the daft Kardashians.

I would also like to salute all the brave volunteers who took part in the trials, giving the experts the data to do their job.

Now, the overwhelming majority of us are sensible enough to realise that this is a magnificent breakthrough and we are incredibly lucky to benefit from scientific progress and knowledge.

MISINFORMED EEJITS

There is a very small but extremely noisy bunch of anti-vaxxers who have been clucking about not “trusting” the vaccine and bleating about their human rights.

The internet is a hot-bed of shocking misinformation, hysterical conspiracy theorists and dangerous, misinformed eejits.

Seriously, what parent wouldn’t want to protect their kids or their elderly relatives and fragile friends.

Surely every rational person wants to make sure we can live without fear and dread, able to hug each other without being scared of passing on a potentially fatal disease.

Being given the opportunity to have this vaccine is a privilege and it is all down to those unsung heroes who have given us a fighting chance to contain Covid-19 and stop it killing those we love and threatening our way of life.

Boy, Chris out to Play

IS Playboy still a thing? I thought when the late Hugh Hefner shuffled off his silk dressing gown and said his final goodbye to his mansion, complete with grubby sex grotto, the magazine and the bunny girls had gone the same way.

So I was surprised to see Christine Quinn, from US reality series Selling Sunset (who is a dead ringer for glamazon drag queen Alaska), has been posing in her scanties for the publication.

Apparently it’s just an online magazine these days, competing for space with much more graphic and unsavoury content.

It just feels so irrelevant and even quaintly old fashioned for someone like Christine, who lives to be on trend.

Wishing Sarah all the best

I’M sending Sarah ­Harding lots of love as she comes to terms with ­living with breast cancer.

The former Girls Aloud singer has written a book about her traumatic diagnosis and experience of coping with the disease ­during lockdown.

She says she is trying to be as brave as possible and that is admirable, but she should also cut herself a bit of slack.

Anyone with cancer must never feel they have to be stoic and heroic all of the time. They also shouldn’t think of going through treatment as “fighting a battle” if that sort of ­language makes them feel uncomfortable.

Everyone deals with this horrid disease in their own way. Sarah will definitely be helping a lot of fellow cancer patients with her honesty and candour in the book, and her call for everyone to be more vigilant in checking their breasts and seeking help quickly if anything feels wrong.

I sincerely wish her all the best and a speedy and ­successful recovery.

Name a bit Nazi

IN the days when we could travel, one of my most memorable holidays was hiring a Jeep and driving around Zambia and Botswana to see the wildlife.

It was utterly magical and we saw all of the big five – lions, buffalo, elephants, leopards and rhinos – as well as wild dogs, giraffes, cheetahs, warthogs, zebras and antelopes.

This year we had hoped to do the same in Namibia.

It’s a former German colony and some of the buildings in the capital Windhoek and the town of Swakopmund on the coast have disconcerting, Germanic-style buildings and street names.

This week the German connection was reinforced in a truly terrible way with the election of “Adolf Hitler” to a seat in regional government.

This poor fellow was given the infamous name by his father, and rather worryingly said he grew up not realising the significance of it.

I suggest he reads up on the history, then changes his name as quickly as humanly possible, especially if he has any ambitions of ever ruling his country.

Could you imagine Adolf Hitler turning up at the United Nations?

Footballers stepping up

I KNOW footballer Andy Robertson is Scotland captain and a Liverpool legend, but I still think of him as a Dundee United player and used to love watching his skills on the pitch when he was one of “ours”.

Andy has a heart as big as his ­talent and has launched his own charity for young people in need.

AR26 is named after Andy’s Dundee United, Hull and ­Liverpool shirt number, and will help young people to have a better start in life.

He is launching free football ­sessions as well as providing young people with access to further ­education and job training. AR26 will also ­provide life-changing experiences for critically ill kids.

Footballers often get a tough time, sometimes deservedly so, but Andy Robertson and Man United’s Marcus Rashford have proved they can effect real change.

More power to them. If you want to help Andy, ­visit ar26.org.uk.

My blush with Mr Perfect

THE crazy, infuriating, scary, bonkers cloud of Covid does have the occasional silver lining.

On my birthday earlier this week, I did a Zoom interview with gorgeous George Clooney (obviously the best present ever).

It was teatime here and I was in my Christmas jumper, tracksuit bottoms and slippers, while George was enjoying breakfast in LA.

He opened the interview by crooning the special Clooney family birthday song to me.

It takes a lot to make me blush but you could have used me as a fog warning light.

We were talking about his new movie, The Midnight Sky, in which he directs and stars.

It is a thoughtful and deeply moving film with an ending that is an emotional punch to the stomach.

NORMAL LIFE

George plays a terminally ill scientist stationed in the Arctic, one of the last humans left on Earth after a global catastrophe.

He has to battle through ice and snow to reach a communication base in order to contact astronauts on their way home, to tell them to go back and settle on another planet.

George looks sick, ravaged and desperate, with a beard that would make Santa pea green with envy.

It is all light years away from his “sexiest man alive” debonair handsomeness.

He and his wife Amal and their twins divide their time between LA and the UK and actually live a few miles up the road from me.

He relishes his time here because he can lead a relatively normal life, going to the shops and local theatre.

The villagers are fiercely protective of their superstar neighbour and make sure no paparazzi or avid fans can annoy “their” George.

Oh, and just when I thought I couldn’t adore him more, he told me he has been doing all the housework during lockdown and is an expert at unloading the dishwasher and taking out the rubbish.

Just an all-round top bloke.

Covid-19 vaccine: Who will get it? when and how?

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